Grateful is taking a blogcation over at Jody's at Lemon Rhodes (what a gorgeous blog it is too!) I'm grateful for the countdown this week.
24hours to go til daddy comes home!!
24hours more of doing it on my own.
How single mothers cope is completely beyond me. I'm exhausted, completely spent. The upside is that SM will come home to a wife who is 6.7kgs lighter than when he left!!!!!!
We've missed SM dreadfully and will be so excited to welcome him home tomorrow. In the meantime it's a quiet morning of TV viewing for the KATs, some computer time for me and then off to the beach to make the most of the sunshine before the clouds descend.
So week one of the school holidays draws to a close. Can you hear the sigh of relief!
Having thrown myself into the abyss that is a little girls 'pony-club fantasy' we have emerged relatively unscathed from the 3 day extravaganza.
Highlights of the week would have to include:
All clothes that were purchased (in my moment of weakness) have made it home
Requests (a polite way of describing nagging) for us to purchase a horse have been minimal! Perhaps my look of abject horror the first time this was posed on the drive home from Day 1 may be to blame for this...quite unusual really as they don't give up that easily as a general rule.
The ease of the drive which had seemed quite daunting to me initially but as a working mum, the drop off and pick up across town was remarkably stress-free (love Sydney traffic on school holidays...all self respecting people are on VACATION!!!!)
Oldest KAT managed to ingratiate herself with the stable hands....she is now a dab hand at tacking and feeding horses. Now I just need to work out something with the riding school to ensure there's a bit of quid pro quo....ie a significant discount for them using my daughter as unpaid labour!!!!
The pleasant surprise of deciding to spend the 3rd day shopping in suburbs I never get to as they're on the other side of the city....I decided to do make-up time next week and instead of working spent 90minutes walking around Centennial Park and then shopped up a storm for stuff for our kitchen reno which still needed a few details to be complete...happy mummy!!
Images speak louder than words don't they. Pure delight, money well spent if you ask me!!!
This may go down as my most extreme moment of parental excess to date (hell we haven't even got to high school formals yet). I don't care (thank goodness SM is still overseas). I'm really happy with the outcome....a great week was had and so far I'm off the hook for agisting a horse at this point!!!!
What's the most extravagant thing you've ever done for holiday entertainment for your children?? Inquiring minds would love to know???????????????
I have a blog that I read but don't follow....I don't always enjoy the sponsored posts so don't want it popping up in my reader thingy.
It's a CCASP blogger (look I made up an acronym!) That would be Clever, Crafty, Attractive, Successful & Paid blogger. She has more followers than I could dream of having and her posts are about her kids (who are gorgeous), her craft (she's amazing), her cooking (don't know how she fits in what she manages to conjure up) and her sponsors (the last two may be related...lots using one particular 'gadget').
All power to her I say, she's got a successful Work at Home business going by the looks of it.
Where I take 'issue' and I'm putting it in inverted comments because I'm freely admitting that I'm being a bit of a COW (but I really do admire her) is when someone who is clearly 'working' adopts the term SAHM.........................................
You say tomAto, I say tom(ar)to
I couldn't give a toss what you choose to do and you shouldn't care what I choose to do work-wise. As long as we are both focused on raising Happy, Healthy, Well-adjusted and Nurtured children, the semantics don't matter.....so why not just admit that you are in fact receiving payment for work and that makes you a working mother?
The definition of 'employed' according to some random online dictionary I just googled is:
"having your services engaged for; or having a job especially one that pays wages or a salary"
When is it going to become passe to engage in this dialogue that only serves to create a them and us mentality??
We all 'work' in some form or other don't we...paid or unpaid...inside the home or outside the home (for the record I've done both and done just the 24hr kid thing and none of them is in any way perfect!!!)
Anyway, the whole term is ridiculous...invented by a bloke? 'Stay At Home Mother'...wouldn't all mothers (working and not working) kill to actually stay at home...instead they're running around ragged keeping up with everyone's demands!!!
Right that's my point of view, feel free to take me to task but for goodness sake me gentle and don't crucify me!
So have I told you I'm a sucker for anything pony-club related??
Is it possible that I've been blessed with three girls so I can live vicariously through them as they don their jodphurs and riding boots??
Hmmmmm me thinks so! We're too poor and city-bound to afford much in the way of equestrian activities but occasionally I let the genie out of the bottle and this holidays the genie has been well and truly given free reign (ha ha look a horsy pun!!)
For three glorious days, KAT 1 & KAT 2 are attending a horse-riding camp and BOY were they excited. This is the second camp they've attended this year, in the winter school hol's I did it as a 'reward' for great behaviour whilst SM was overseas....and we've repeated it again for this school hol's as it was such a "winner".
The only mistake I made was in one-upping myself by telling them that for this camp I would buy them the requisite attire as they found the grungy boots provided by the school ill-fitting and uncomfortable at the winter camp...so mum, with the SUCKER in huge letters on her forehead traipsed off to Horseland with the three KATs thinking I was going to be leaving with ONLY two pairs of reasonably priced boots!!!!!
Where do I start. Suffice to say DO NOT EVEN LET YOURSELF BE FOOLED INTO MAKING THIS MISTAKE!!!!!
We departed Horseland an hour later and $400 poorer in possession of:
two pairs of boots
two pairs of jodphurs
two pairs of riding gloves
two puffy vest/jacket thingys which I fell in love with (RM Williams)
One polo shirt with a horse on the back for the littlest KAT
I was lucky to get out of there without a life-size plastic horse that they spent an inordinate amount of time attempting to brush (have I mentioned it was plastic???)...littlest KAT had it by the 'lead' and was encouraging her sisters to drag it around the store :)
Anyhoo mummy grinned and bore it as it was ALL of my own doing!
So this morning they were up bright and early attired in their 'gear' and we had the joy of presenting littlest KAT to her daycare provider with the afore-mentioned polo shirt on back to front (ie buttons at the back)....why you ask?
Well that's what you do when the picture of the horse is on the back of the top and you are four and insist that you want to 'see' your pink horse....so we wear it back to front don't we!!!!
Do you harbour any horse-riding fantasies from child-hood?
A couple of weeks into my morning constitutional (that would be my walk not a bowel movement) and I must be feeling better as I've got the energy to contemplate morning walker etiquette.
It probably says something about my personality but my morning walks are tending to follow about three varying routes that get me out and back to the KATs in 60minutes....God forbid I vary them and end up being out there for longer!!!!!
Regardless of the route, you will not be surprised to hear that I pass a number of people who are also motivated to drag their sorry butts out of bed and get out into the beautiful morning air at 6am.
Some of them look less than impressed to be out and about...dragged along by their dogs or just simply shuffling along on their own.
Others are kitted out in outfits that would give Rocky a run for his money...I'm not joking, there's one woman who wears a parka with the hood up and tracksuit pants...all she needs is a towel draped around her neck and she'd be set!!!
She's marginally in front (in terms of attire as opposed to speed) of this other Ladee who is adorned in a parachute tracksuit in neon colours that has got to be the last surviving relic from the 80's...she sort of billows along rather than striding :)
In the melting pot that is my morning walk, there are those who smile, there are those who smile and say hello and then there are those that steadfastly ignore me as they pass..................and it's becoming more and more tempting to freak them out by suddenly jumping towards them as they approach me with a huge HELLO and a smile that would make Jack Nicholson blanch!!!!
How is it possible that you can:
Have actually got out the door at this hour of the morning
Have actually gotten your clothes on (unless you slept in them) before leaving said place of residence
Have achieved 1 & 2 and be out in the fresh air filling your lungs to the brim
Experiencing at least a minor endorphin rush as a result of getting some exercise
and STILL not be able to summon up a decent little smile...just a tincy one............PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So please tell me wiser readers than I, what exactly should one do in these cases?? Should I walk past and pretend they too are invisible? Or should I act like a mature adult (avoiding giving them a heart attack) and flash them my unbrushed pearly whites as I stride past?
Things had gotten so bad that I abandoned my normal routine of 'tidying up for the cleaner' (which is deranged on a good day let alone when I'm suffering from a cold and have fatigue from the sudden increase in exercise that I'm doing).
Hell hath no fury like a woman unhappy with her cleaner, and my cleaner's ears have been burning furiously for months as I bemoaned the fact that I thought she was slacking off.
Today however, if I had the power I would be giving her a sainthood! I wonder what sort of sainthood that would be? Immaculate Bambi of the BAM??? Ha ha (sad, I'm laughing at my own jokes!!!)
Anyway, in celebration of my state of cleanliness and the fact that it has moved me another step away from losing my mind...I've gone NUTS with my smart phone (sadly not an iPhone) and am sharing the shots of CLEAR floors, CLEAR counters, CLEAR tables and OMG empty laundry baskets...........except for the Ironing which I'm still lamenting!!
Now if only I could pull in a favour with the ironing fairy my happiness would be complete!!!
I've lost 2.4 kilos which could in fact be 24 kilos based on how great my body feels when I'm putting clothes on...isn't it amazing what the departure of Miss Puffy Face and Mr Bloated Belly do to your sense of well-being...I feel like one of those skinny chicks on the ads for Irritable Bowel Syndrome!
On the downside, my throat feels like I'm swallowing razor blades and my tonsils are giving a good impression of golf balls. Cue the immune system shouting out VERY loudly that some of the voting parts of my body are not yet onboard with the grand transformation.
I've been popping enough (odorless) fish oil capsules that I won't be surprised if I sprout a fin and I'm now also trying to have some Vitamin C...as long as it's sugarless I can have it (picture me standing in the health food aisle at the supermarket with a befuddled brain trying to decipher the food labels on all the bottles of Vitamin C....yes, quite comic).
Mark (I should clarify - he's not FROM the Biggest Loser but I'm sure he could give them a red hot go) has run me through my paces and I am amazed at how a seemingly amiable man can be so ruthless in the face of my pain. Unfortunately, his sessions have totally wrecked me for the rest of the day which has left me VERY short-tempered with the KATs and as SM is overseas we are struggling on as best we can
The house resembles a 'frat house' from an American sitcom as I have quickly realized that doing this challenge and trying to retain my high standards of domestic goddessness were incompatible if my children were to have some semblence of a functioning mother. Thank goodness the cleaner comes tomorrow!!!!
I have concluded therefore that my motivation and desire to succeed in shedding a large amount of kilos and getting into fighting physical form is inversely proportional to the amount of pain and discomfort that I am putting myself through.....perhaps that's the reason why I've been unsuccessful at previous attempts in the last few years?
You need to REALLY be willing to go that extra mile in all senses in order to see results. It truly is short term pain for long term gain.
Now if I could only have the energy to bend over and pick up the crap accumulating on my lounge room floor I'll really feel like a winner!
On the quite rare occasions when SM goes away, the KATs and I like to play!
We call it 'GirlPower' time and it's a way of making the time go faster until daddy can be with us again.
Yesterday we had a blissful Sunday morning down at the beach...it was relaxed, refreshing and just what the doctor ordered for a mummy who is suffering very badly from my low-carb, high-exercise training regime (OMG how did I sign myself up for this????).
We headed down early (anytime before 9 is considered early in our house), grabbed some banana bread for the KATs and a skim latte for mum and then meandered around to the ocean pool.
It is one of the most sublime spots in Sydney...a true delight!
The sun was shining, the tourists were out and we braved the frigid (15 degrees celcius apparently) water with abandonment (although my middle KAT was not as enthusiastic as the rest of us!!)
Here's some arty farty shots....hope you enjoy them :)
I wouldn't be a very convincing "Maria" if I didn't have some Favourite Things!!
So I've made an executive decision (love making those) to put together a monthly post to bore you senseless with some of my most favourite 'things'.
In doing so, I shall endeavour to give you a better idea of what our little world looks like. If you turn into a stalker, I'm warning you now, it won't be pretty!!
I hope you enjoy these gems when they appear on your blogroll (hint hint, I'd loooove a gig on your blogroll!!!!)
This month, I thought I 'd share some of my favourite 'things' from around the house...hope you don't think this is shallow and pretentious, if you do then now is the time to jump ship.
As I confessed here, Saint Mike and I are self-confessed 'failed renovators'.
We are quite at peace with this decision as it was in the best interests of our little family unit and recognised that although doing our renovation would have met lots of needs (for more space and a fancier abode it would have been MORE about how we wanted (or more truthfully) how I wanted people to perceive us and wasn't really essential to do at the moment....we love living in cramped conditions with one living area and one toilet! Simply put, the BIG reno was ditched, the MINI reno (kitchen & bathroom) is 'in train' (another cool corporate-speak expression)
Anyone who knows Sydney (the city not a person, I'm about to mix metaphors and more) would know that she is a tad on the 'aspirational' side - loves whipping out her bling and dazzling everyone (cue the gorgeous sunny spring day that was today). But she can be an honest to goodness cow when you can't meet her expectations of what is required to be in her inner circle. Truthfully, living in Sydney and keeping up with the Jones' can be soul destroying if you let it rule your decision-making!
For us, our 'jewels' are our KAT's and each other. We are happy in our little home and in the last few months once I stopped putting off all the 'little things' til the big reno happened, our home has truly begun to shine in the best sense!
One of the things we did was put up new clocks above the entry into the dining area adjacent to the kitchen.
I love my new clocks! I went with a bright and cheery Karlsson clock which I had admired for a while in a homewares shop...and I've paired it with the decal's which I found online in the US and they are in a vibrant orange (which I love). Our clocks help us keep track of the right times to be calling Saint Mike's family in Canada and my sister and brother who live in the UK...so they are quite functional and not just decorative (although they are pretty funky decoration if I do say so myself!!!)
I'm so pleased that I let my color instincts go wild...I had purchased three boring black and white clocks from Ikea for this purpose and decided to return them and splurge the extra on these beauties!
The next spot that was ripe for the picking was inside our front door. I got this gorgeous print from one of my fave online stores, Brown Paper Packages and had it framed...I think it looks really sweet and speaks to the heart of our little family!
It also sits above my chair which I re-upholstered in one of my "urges" as Saint Mike calls them!! It was a stained timber with an old needlework seat cover (I'll post about the story behind it another time)...I gave it a coat of paint and did the seat in a lovely linen with pale blue upholstery tape (that was a learning experience let me tell you...me and the staple gun have a love-hate relationship!!). Also, I want to make it quite clear that this coatrack is RARELY this clutter-free!!!!
Last but not least, the thing every home should have - a decent porch light and their street number on display! Can you believe it's taken us four and a half years to get it done and now I can't stop looking at it!! I know, I really need to get a life :)
There you go, a few of my 'favourite things' that are making me smile!
Last but not least, one of my most favourite things...our littlest KAT, contemplating 'Life at Four' on the hammock recently :)
Photo credit at the request of my bossy sister - image captured by the very clever and talented photographer Sara Levesley (that would be my sister!!!)
It is completely beyond me how healthy (read thin) people manage to fit anything into their day with the amount of time they must devote to chopping, squeezing, juicing, and all the other 'ings' that go with a healthy diet.
Perhaps my knife skills are just not up to scratch because one of the most frustrating things when you are really famished and are trying (really hard) to stick to your correct macronutrient targets is the preparation involved in getting the food ready to eat!
As I type this, a little voice is saying "yes but that's why you need to be more organized - pre chop food etc" but I am soooooo exhausted from being flogged to death by Mark the trainer from Biggest Loser central casting that I can barely lift my arms to cut another vegetable up!!
Fresh, close to nature still needs to be taken from the fridge, washed, de-ended (can't think of a better description) or de-seeded, then thrown together with the requisite amount of protein (think lots of tuna), cottage cheese and then I can actually consume it....this is all quite daunting when I am still in major 'deprivation' mode...I'm sure it will get better but far out, can someone send me a chef to do all the food prep...I can see why diet food deliveries are so attractive to people.
Regardless of my chopping and slicing angst I remain a bit daunted by this caper but am nonetheless DETERMINED (like my little friend the tortoise) and ! I am recording everything, weighing it as well and have managed to do 195minutes worth of cardio since last Thursday night, plus I got flogged by Mark this morning...so am quite pleased with my level of commitment (nearly burst into tears when he made me do a fourth set of chest presses, felt like there must be a camera hiding somewhere).
SM thinks it's bloody hilarious! His halo is poised to strangle him!!!
I'd love to hear your tip's on how you manage to eat healthily and still get out of the house...let me know!
According to one of my brothers (hello if you happen to read this!) I've created the impression that I'm not adverse to a bit of titillation in the 'spicing up your marriage' department.
Yes, my brother has been getting a chuckle out of my references to my husband as "SM"....and the fact that in my sidebar I make mention of the fact that this is a "private joke" between him and I!!!!
He actually suggested that I might have adopted this term as a strategy to attract viewers to my blog!!!!
Would that be a first in the world of mummy bloggers? Toss in a few references to plastic fantastic and fluffy hand-cuffs in the boudoir and see how Googles SEO (search engine optimization) latches onto that!
Clearly I have not reached this point of desperation quite yet :)
Therefore, in the interests of clarification, I shall make it clear (as it obviously wasn't) that my term of endearment for my long suffering husband is SM, that would be upper case 'S' for Saint and upper case 'M' for Mike (there the secret is out). There is an never has been an ampersand in the middle!!
Saint Mike may one day speak for himself as to why he has been tagged with this name...you can read my post here to give you some idea of why he is deserving, in my opinion of saintly reverence (when his halo isn't falling down around his neck and strangling him!!!!)
I should also clarify that whilst our nocturnal activities aren't quite as salacious as my brother would like to think, we're QUITE HAPPY THANK YOU and have mastered the art of medicinal sex (that's definitely a post for another time!)
I'm quite pleased with myself for being organized to do this as a Grateful Saturday post.
Today they're being hosted by Kymie over at A Day in the Life of Us.
Swing on over (okay couldn't help myself) and check out some of the lovely grateful posts here
I'm going to see a personal trainer this afternoon and it's all my sisters fault (she knows who she is!).
I should be somewhat excited about commencing a 'get fit' campaign. Instead I'm terrified and panicking like I'm being asked to stand in for one of Beyonce's back up dancers (you can see I'm struggling with things today - I can't even think up a decent comparison...hang on I know there's a word for it I just can't think of it...simile, metaphor, oh bugger it!!)
I'm having an anxiety attack about having to front up to some guy who I'm paying to get my butt into gear...and the sad thing is that I know he won't give a toss about me so it's not like I'm worried about what he's thinking (I have progressed in my use of cognitive behavior therapy!!!)
No, my anxiety attack is because in getting my butt into gear I'm going to have to give up my security blanket...my comfort eating...the thing that never lets me down...the thing that makes me FEEL good even if it's making me look like SHIT!!!!
I know I need to do this, but I've needed to do it for the last four years and haven't been able to stick with ANY sort of good health/good eating plan...failure is my middle name even though I've tried to disown it multiple times!!
In recent months I have been making an effort to be the boss of my own mind and wrote down some negative thoughts and the associated CBT thinking to try to get out from under this huge weight of unhelpful thinking that is holding me back. I'm looking at them now...I was going to post them here but I've changed my mind (a bit too many of it is very personal, sorry folks!).
Okay. I'm going to show up at this appointment and I'm going to commit to making the changes to get some results. I will keep you posted!
PS If you're driving down the road and see a woman in exercise gear running down the footpath screaming and waving her arms in terror that's probably me...only joking :)
When I was a little girl my family called me Lib. If it wasn't Lib it was Libby and I always knew I was in trouble when I was called Elizabeth!
Somewhere along the way, Libby because Liz. I think it may have been part of 'being myself' out in the big wide world. I can't remember the reason why, I'm sure it made sense at the time in my young and still to be filled up head!!
Like many things, I've come full circle with my name. After being out in that big wide world as Liz and only being referred to as Lib by my immediate family, I have started yearning to be called Lib all the time.
The reason 'why' is a complicated thing...I haven't got to the bottom of it fully yet.
All I know is that I was a Lib to my dad who is unfortunately no longer here (a fact that after four and a bit years I still can't quite fathom).
Equally as important though, I'm a Lib to my mum and my brothers and sisters....and I love them more than words can say (and probably haven't said enough). I've realized that I love hearing them call me "Lib" because it reminds me that they KNOW me and they LOVE me and despite the many things I have and still manage to mess up in my life....they love me in spite of this.
Libby means 'loved'. Libby means 'accepted'. Libby is such a lovely name :))
Whoever invented the toddler couch deserves a good time out (I would say smack but that's not PC anymore!).
Has anyone else notice that these things are an instrument of torture?
I avoided them with our oldest two KAT's...some instinct told them that aside from being a constant trip hazard, stain magnet and general source of annoyance there was something about them that I just didn't take to.
That will teach me. I should have stuck with my instincts!!
But no, 3rd child comes along...poor little KAT...SO deprived (NOT).
I wasn't even looking for one but the cute green ginhamness of it just snuck up and sucked me right in and before you know it I had bought it (online of course!!).
The first warning that I had ignored my instincts at my peril was when it arrived with a SPARE COVER....alarm bells started ringing and I then spent the first few days desperately trying to circumvent any potential 'food' item from coming in contact with it. Actually, that's probably an exaggeration...first few seconds is more like it knowing me :)
In the just over 12 months that we've owned it I will fess up that I've washed the cover twice...once quite early on in the piece and the second time this week.
Why you ask....well you obviously have never had the pleasure of owning one of these contraptions, you need a degree in multi-dimensional CADCAM design to engineer the stupid pieces of foam back into the bloody cover!!!!!!
After wash #1 I was so exhausted by the process that I was loathe to EVER wash it again..if our littlest KAT hasn't developed a kick butt immune system from the germs on this thing then she never will!
Don't ask me why I decided to finally wash the cover again...I have no idea, must have been during a sugar high (those happen quite frequently). Anyway, photos are to demonstrate how it's only still in situe in our house because:
The green gingham still has MAJOR pulling power with me
Littlest KAT adores it and loves to use it as a play area with her tigers...and
She looks super cute sitting on it :)
Note the fact that it was redressed beneath the Keep Calm picture on our oldest KAT's bed!!!! That advice was certainly required today.
Have you endured the torture of the toddler couch??